Yes, it was a meteorite! Cool facts about space rock that crashed into NJ house this week
🔴 The meteorite will likely be named the "Titusville, NJ meteorite"
🔴 It weighs 2.2 lbs and it 4.56 billion years old
🔴 The determination was made by the Department of Physics at The College of New Jersey
HOPEWELL (Mercer County) — The object that struck a house Monday afternoon was determined to be a meteorite after being examined by The College of New Jersey’s Department of Physics.
The meteorite, likely to be named the "Titusville, NJ meteorite," left a hole in the roof of a house on Old Washington Crossing-Pennington Road in the Titusville section of Hopewell. It becomes the third meteorite to be recovered intact in New Jersey in nearly 200 years, joining one that landed in Freehold Township in 2007 and 1829 in Deal.
The Titusville meteorite likely landed around 12:15 p.m. based on reports of flight-streaks and loud noises.
Nathan Magee, chairman of TCNJ’s Department of Physics, said the Titusville rock is a type LL-6 stony chondrite meteorite that weighs 2.2 pounds. It is lower in iron than most chondrite meteorites, and was highly metamorphosed by intense heat even before entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
About 1,100 LL chondrites have ever been found and are known to science; of these, around 100 were witnessed falls.
The determination was made after a visual examination, taking density measurements and use of a scanning electron microscope. Retired meteorite expert Jerry Delaney from Rutgers University and The American Museum of Natural History assisted Magee's team.
The homeowner, Suzy Kop, brought the meteorite to Magee on Tuesday for the examination. A test by Hopewell police determined the rock was not radioactive and safe for Kop to transport.
“Getting the chance to examine the meteorite yesterday was a rare and thrilling opportunity for me, as well as for a group of physics students and professors at TCNJ,” Magee said.
Magee said the meteorite's exact origin is not known but it likely came from the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It's age is approximately 4.56 billion years, fairly close to formation age of the sun and Earth, and older than any dated rock on Earth.
Magee said the meteorite will be returned to Kop who can decide its future.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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